Sleeping rituals for babies

Sleeping rituals for babies

Have you ever thought about bedtime rituals for your baby or toddler? An exciting day in kindergarten, an argument with your best friend or looking forward to the birthday party the next day – many things are on children’s minds in the evening when it’s bedtime. Falling asleep is not always easy for them. One in five preschoolers has trouble sleeping, lies awake long before they can fall asleep, or keeps waking up during the night. Experts advise putting children to bed with a bedtime ritual such as a bedtime song, talking about the past day together again in the evening and setting clear bedtimes.

Sleeping rituals for a baby

Babies sleep two-thirds of the day. However, they wake up every three to four hours, usually because they are hungry. In the second year of life, children sleep around 13 hours; six-year-olds still need around 10.5 hours of sleep. “However, sleep patterns can vary greatly from child to child,” says psychologist York Scheller. “Not every baby finds a regular sleep schedule easily. They need to learn to sleep and sit up or crawl.”


Sleeping rituals for toddlers

Small children suffer more from falling asleep in the third to fourth year of life. At this age, they become more and more aware of their independent personality, and the evening separation from their parents often triggers anxiety. It can help leave the light on in the hallway and the children’s room door ajar. A cuddly toy in your arms, your favourite bed linen and the quiet conversations of your parents from the next room convey a sense of intimacy.

Rituals help to calm down.

Goodnight faces as a bedtime ritual and clear bedtimes give children security and help them to calm down in the evening. Here are a few good examples to end the day calmly:

  • This includes eating with the whole family – ideally always at about the same time.
  • The routine of changing, washing and brushing your teeth that follows every evening should also have a fixed order.
  • For children to have a clear head at night, it helps them talk about the past day together.
  • The most beautiful moment of the day – and at the same time, the best sleeping aid: snuggled together with father or mother before falling asleep, reading or telling a bedtime story. Such a ritual gives children security and helps them to calm down in the evening. Anything that is quiet and is just as much fun for the offspring as for the parents is suitable.

It is usual for children and adults to wake up briefly at night and turn from side to side. Most of the time, you fall asleep again immediately without remembering the interruptions in your sleep the following day.



However, especially between the ages of three and five, many boys and girls are woken up at night by nightmares. Even if a child feels overwhelmed or suffers from conflicts, scary dreams can be the result. Because in the dream, they process what they experience during the day. Even everyday situations, such as an angry barking dog or a fight with the big brother, can unsettle children. At night, witches, monsters or dangerous animals chase the little ones, and they startle, screaming from their sleep.

Only towards the end of kindergarten do children learn that dreams are not real. “The best thing for the little ones is for their parents to calm them down at night. The next morning, they should talk to their offspring about the dream again and help them integrate what they dreamed into everyday life,” advises York Scheller.

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